Watching container connoisseur Paul Zammit put together an arrangement is like observing an artist at work—plants in a range of green hues are his medium. A walk around the property that he shares with his partner and fellow gardener Uli Havermann in Toronto reveals a keen eye for combining texture, shape and a bold aesthetic. Pops of colour in the form of purple, bronze and chartreuse are interspersed among a lush, green canvas of perennials, along with terracotta pots that Paul enthusiastically collects.
The garden is echoed in the 75 odd containers (that’s not including the small ones) that he creates every year despite the dozens he puts together in presentations as director of horticulture at the Toronto Botanical Garden. “Containers are miniature gardens in themselves,” he says. Here, Paul shows us how we can recreate these verdant masterpieces in our own garden.
Arrangement no. 1: Emerald sentinel
“When I begin to put a container together, I always think about its future setting,” says Paul. This fragrant, herb-laden urn celebrates the surrounding landscape, and is a perfect example of the repetition technique Paul likes to use in his designs. “I call it colour and textural echoing,” he explains. The Japanese forest grass, for example, recalls the grasses in the garden; in the pot itself, the leaves of the Japanese maple are echoed in trailing strands of ivy.